Tutors for Study Skills & Homework Coaching

Parent Q&A

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  • My son is going into 9th grade next fall. We have gone back and forth on getting him a writing tutor, signing him up for Sylvan Learning Center (decided against it) or maybe a tutor for writing with some math mixed in. But then my husband and I came up with an idea thats more of a "homework tutor", someone who could guide him and help him with homework projects as needed, and when there is nothing urgent needing to be done with school assignments/projects, they could work with him on honing writing skills, math skills...just his academic skills that need some extra practice. 

    In 8th grade we have spent the whole year trying to figure out exactly what his needs are because his grades have seriously slipped. We have talked to his teachers and it seems he has a horrible time organizing himself, keeping his projects straight, finishing assignments etc (he is on an IEP for ADD and disgraphia). It has become a battle at home and none of us are benefiting from this kind of stress in the household. Kids tend to work way better with tutors and coaches than they do with parents, so we think he could really use something like a academic coach/tutor to help him. 

    Even though we are heading towards summer, wed like to have a tutor through the summer as well, to keep up his skills before he starts 9th grade. 

    Would love advice and/or referrals if anyone can guide us in this direction. 


    I wholeheartedly recommend Shari Simburg as a writing tutor/educational therapist for kids 4th-10th grades. Along with writing skills, Shari helps with reading comprehension, study skills and time management with long term assignments. Shari started working with my son when he was 10 yrs. old and continues to work with him as an 8th grader. My son initially struggled with some anxiety around writing and Shari has helped him overcome this challenge. My son has executive function/attentional issues and needs a lot of help with organization. Shari breaks down writing assignments into manageable chunks and helps support my son in a warm and nurturing manner. Shari has helped my son be a more confident and skilled writer and always inspires my son to think creatively outside of the box. Shari is responsible, organized and willing to put in the extra time when my son is struggling. Shari can be contacted at (510)649-7712 or shar.simburg [at] gmail.com (shar[dot]simburg[at]gmail[dot]com). Please feel free to contact me at kdwinick [at] gmail.com (kdwinick[at]gmail[dot]com) for any questions. 

Archived Q&A and Reviews

Study Skill and Organization tutor for HS Junior

Oct 2015

I am looking for a patient, practical, compassionate tutor to teach study skill, homework strategy, and organization to my high school junior son. Ideal tutors must be positive, encouraging, and experienced.

My son is an easy going, relaxed, and kind boy, who loves animation and art. He is also a diligent student, who wants to maintain good grades. However, he does not have a good study skill. He is not really good at planning his schedule, both for the day and also for big projects which require longer time to complete. He is also not so good at evaluating his strategy of completing homework, and quite often, takes the way which may take longer to complete, and he stays up until 1am to 2am routinely, just to have his daily homework done. We think there are things that he can learn and improve, so he can gain more sleep.

Due to his past medical issues, we know that his memory processing speed is slightly slower than usual. It is also hard for him to follow complicated instructions too, so instructions need to be broken down. He is not also keen to small details so certain subjects (such as physics) can be hard for him. He often makes careless mistakes with tests. I wish that someone can teach him a learning strategy, so his hard work can be paid off. We live in Lafayette, so we are looking for someone on this side of the tunnel. We need someone who can come to our house, so the tutor can also help him set up his desk and filing system more properly.

Not sure if he will come to Lafayette, but my high school son is working with Kevin Arnold http://berkeleycommunitytutor.com/ for study skills and organization. They meet once a week at a cafe. Kevin goes over his assignments for the week, they review his planner and all this classes on powerschool. Kevin helps him make a plan for what to work on in the coming week. He has my son send him a photo every day of his planner showing assignments written down. My son comes home from school talking about upcoming assignments and what he needs to do today. He didn't do this before. Kevin is very personable and relates well to teenagers. My son's friend is working with him too, and both boys like him. mom of BHS freshman

May 2014

Heather Sweeney has been working with D for two years now, and she is fantastic. I called her when my hardworking daughter with ADHD hit a bump in AP US History in her Junior year of High School. At first she said she had no room, but after hearing our story she showed, not for the last time, her level of compassion by saying,'' I want to help her''. She comes to our house, charges very reasonable rates, and has helped D with study and note taking skills, writing, test prep and much more. She is funny, patient, smart and caring. D sees her as a friend and looks forward to their sessions. Also enjoyable are the ''tribal dinners'' when many of Heather's students have a pot luck together and have a chance to share stories. My daughter made it into her dream college and we owe much of this to Heather. Contact info: hthrsweeney [at] gmail.com Robyn

Aug 2013

We found Matt Baldwin from another recommendation on BPN and he has been a SERIOUS help to our teenage son as a homework, writing and organizational skills tutor. Working together this last year we have seen considerable improvement in our son's overall academic situation - test scores up, more consistent with homework, better attitude, etc. Our son can be quite spacey and Matt has been very patient and helpful in keeping him on track. You can reach him at 831-915-3470 or baldwinunlimited [at] gmail.com Polly M

Sept 2012

Hi, I just wanted to say to everybody what a great tutor Adam Snider is. Found him through a recommendation from another tutor on BPN and since then heC,bs done a great job with our teenage son. Great with organization, homework help, study strategies, etc. He is an especially strong writer and has really helped our son with his essay writing skills (something that he really struggles with). His email is adamsnider5 [at] gmail.com Mary

May 2012

I just wanted to share with any parents looking for tutors the positive experience that we've had with Matt Baldwin. Our 11 year old son has always struggled with academics and was recently diagnosed with ADD. We found Matt through a recommendation and scheduled him to start coming for tutoring twice a week.

In the six months that they have worked together we've witnessed a great improvement in our son's overall performance and attitude towards school, especially in English - in which he had a particularly hard time. Matt's approach to tutoring work is relaxed and he is especially strong on reading, English composition, homework assistance, organizational strategies, and creating an overall sense of motivation. He keeps the sessions on track but never in a rigid way. Our son actually looks forward to their time together.

Matt is a Cal grad and is working on a master's in psychology. He is also a musician and gives guitar lessons - good at that too! Highly recommended.

His number is 831-915-3470. Email: baldwinunlimited [at] gmail.com Kat

March 2012

I would like to recommend Molly Gales as a tutor of high school aged children. My daughter entered high school last fall and had a lot of trouble adjusting to the amount of work and responsibility that came with it. She was a straight A student before she started high school but her grades plummeted because she was having trouble keeping track of assignments, could not properly prepare for tests, and was overwhelmed. We were at our wit's end, having to nag her about every assignment. We discovered Molly through Oakland Tech's parent listserv and hired her as an organization/study skills tutor. In the past 3 months, Molly has helped turn our daughter's grades around, and also given her the skills and confidence boost to make her feel like she can manage all of the work. Molly has also helped our daughter rewrite essays, plot out homework strategies in the short and long term, and given her advice on how to approach teachers for help. She is also a strong advocate for our daughter and will directly contact teachers to keep them informed of the amount of work that is being put in. her contact info: molly.gales [at] gmail.com Jennifer T.

Need organization/study skills coach for 14 yr old son asap

Dec 2011

Our son has poor organizational/study skills and is really struggling with staying on top of things now that he is in high school and his grades have really dropped. He won't take any help from us but I remember reading posts from parents maybe a year ago saying their kids had similar issues and that they had found a great person who came to the house and worked with the kid on organizational/study skills and really turned things around. I can't find the posts and would greatly appreciate any recommendations for organization/study skill tutors/coaches(or other advice) from parents who've faced a similar situation. Thanks very much in advance.

My son worked with Nick at SOS http://www.sos4students.com/, and he was fantastic. He really understood my son and his organizational challenges, but pushed him to do his best. I highly recommend the company. Carrie

I heartily recommend Linda Lawton. She has helped my 15 year old daughter immensely with getting organized, managing her time, and developing solid study skills. My daughter has gone to Linda's office near El Cerrito Plaza for one-on-one sessions with Linda, as well as for supervised small-group study hall sessions after school, and both have been incredibly helpful. The website is www.centerofattentionandlearning.org and Linda's phone is 510-559-3110. anonymous

Dear Parents of Teens, My son is attending Oakland Tech and first marking period he had such troubles keeping up in school/not motivated to succeed and frustrated, well, that has all changed with a great tutor in Berkeley who teaches inspiration and organization skills for a child like mine who could not get the ball off the ground. Molly Gales is a specialist in her field and I can say enough how much she has helped...molly.gales @gmail.com

Homework helper needed for middle school child

Sept 2011

We are looking for someone to come to our house two days a week in the late afternoon or early evening to help our middle school child with homework, in particular writing and general orgaization. We would appreciate your recommendations or ideas on how to find someone. Thanks

If you are looking for someone to help your child with organization I highly recommend Nancy Chin. She will not come to your house, your child will have to go to her office (Rockridge Market Hall or Walnut Creek). Nancy did wonders for my daughter and I am forever grateful! Her website is www.stepbystep4success.com. . Organization goes a long way!

Anne Clarke is a wonderful, experienced tutor who worked with my daughter for several years. I found her approach to consider the whole person- she understands and respects the individual student. She is warm, interested, and very reliable. You can reach her at 219-476-5014, or anneclarke106 [at] gmail.com. Amy

July 2011

Re: Tutor/homework helper needed ASAP
I didn't read the original post but wanted to jump in with a recommendation of Kevin Arnold, the tutor who has worked with my son throughout his high school years. Originally I wanted someone who would be a sort of homework helper or coach so my son would stay on task with his assignments. Kevin has proven to be so much more. Although his manner is very personable and casual, he is strongly grounded in academics. He has been able to help my son learn to articulate complex ideas for essays in both history and English. Kevin never makes my son feel rushed, but they do cover a lot of ground during each session. In my son's words, Kevin is the perfect balance of enthusiasm and focus. Kevin can be reached at 510 495-7923 Debbie

May 2011

I highly recommend the tutor my sons have worked with over the past 3+ years. His name is Kevin Arnold (email: kevinarnold333 [at] gmail.com). He came highly recommended by other BPN members, and we initially spoke at great lengths after my son was evaluated to rule out ADHD. (While meds were an option, his pediatrician recommended an organizational tutor as a start). Kevin was GREAT! He is warm and friendly, and my son related to him immediately. Kevin began working with him at the beginning of his 7th grade year after switching to a large public middle school. Under his 'care', my son gained confidence as a student, developed excellent writing skills, and was able to prioritize his homework load- something he had much difficulty accomplishing. He was no longer overwhelmed and frustrated by the work, even as more was demanded of him in middle school.

My sons see Kevin as 'hip and cool', and relate very well to him. He is an accomplished musician, and he even worked with them on guitar and drum lessons. He recently began working with my other son, as well, on his high school history research paper, and has helped him learn how to be a better writer.

I cannot say enough about his skills as a tutor, not to mention, mentor. Kevin is also very patient, and has a knack for fostering independence, and critical thinking skills. I am impressed by how my son has grown as a student: once frustrated and overwhelmed by the challenge, he is now able to master the demands of high school with more ease. I attribute this to his work with Kevin over the years. I am relieved that I didn't need to rely on medication, but instead finding him a tutor who had the patience and expertise to work with him.

Kevin is also very flexible with his schedule, something I very much appreciated, given our hectic schedules. DM

Feb 2011

Leslie Absher is my high school son's academic coach. She works well (and gets along well) with him and is professional and caring. She's worked with him for 3 1/2 years helping him organize himself for school, and assisting him with his homework and long term projects. Leslie keeps us updated on his progress and works with us on strategies for helping him with his work. I highly recommend Leslie as a personable and effective tutor. Nancy

Feb 2011

I'd like to recommend the work of Shari Simburg, educational consultant and tutor. She worked with both our children throughout middle school, helping them to develop organizational and study skills, while working with them on their homework in all subjects. Given the ages of our children, we worked with her for 6 years, and came to know her and her work well. Both of our children have been diagnosed with ADHD, and Shari was first recommended to us as one of a group of strong tutors by the psychologist who did testing with our older child. Shari understands the nature of this disability and how to help kids organize, center, and be more productive. She also does an excellent job interfacing with the school and was, for example, active in contacting the learning specialist at the school, and subject matter teachers to follow up on issues and to find out about homework, especially large assignments.

We also really liked that once each semester she would schedule a parent conference to discuss goals and progress, and to invite our feedback. I've found these meetings helpful, for example in the skills she applies to helping us keep in mind details from psychologist's report. This practice has helped us over the years to remember the nature and scope of the issues that the assessment had uncovered, which has allowed us to be better advocates for our children. She recently moved her office, and is now near Monterey Market. I think the new space is quite comfortable. Overall, our family recommends Shari most highly. She has made a strong impact on our children's work habits and success in school. We left only when our children were high school age so that they could get more targeted tutoring in specific subjects (e.g., French, chemistry). - Berkeley parent of 2

2009 - 2010 Reviews

Nov 2010

Educational Therapist Shari Simburg has worked with my son for several years--now 11, he has entered middle school with the organizational, study and problem-solving skills he needs for the new mountain of homework he now has. Shari has been invaluable in prodding our son along from unfocused, fidgety elementary kid to more focused middle schooler. We expect to continue working with her through middle school... beth

Educational Consultant for help with 14yo's organization

June 2010

I'm looking for an educational consultant to work with my daughter on organization and homework management. She's 14, starts high school in the fall, and was recently diagnosed with ADHD, inattentive type. She's extremely bright and social --needs to work with someone who is experienced, engaging and with whom she can connect. Thanks in advance for any recommendations. Anon

I am sure you will find the name of many competent educational consultants. I am a teacher with ADHD (on meds to stay on-track for my students). One thing I do and encourage many students to do whether diagnosed or not is to get a clipboard - the see through type that has a small flat type of spring at the top. Attach EVERYTHING during the day to that clipboard. At the bottom of the clipboard (under the pile of papers) should be three months of calendar pages printed off the computer. Only three months or it is overwhelming. Highlight in color when something is due on the calendar (for assignments that are more than 1 day assignments) or make a small highlighted stripe at the top of assignments received that day that are due the next day.

Remember everything stays on that clipboard. At home if there is a problem with papers getting misplaced or lost, do the work as it is attached to the clipboard. It may have creases - for now that's okay. Go through the clipboard every day with your daughter until she can do this herself. Even after she can do this herself, stay near her while she does it as you can see from doodles, drawings and writing as to whether she is on track, off track or whether any medication is still working. ADHD Creative and Bright - those are the upsides

Vanessa Roth (owner of Scholar's Station) has much expertise and experience in this area. She has been asked to present Study Skills workshops at high schools, and has helped many students develop techniques for organizing their tasks. I recommend her highly. Her tutors are graduates of UC Berkeley, Stanford, and other excellent schools, and she matches tutors to students very carefully. She designs a program customized for your child's specific needs, the tutor comes to your home, and it's less expensive than many home-based services. Her website is www.ScholarsStation.com. Good luck! Susan

My daughter worked with Nancy Chin this past school year. Once Nancy got her organized, she did better with focus and managing her HW time. Nancy also collaborated with her teachers to set realistic expectations and goals. I highly recommend Nancy, her website is www.stepbystep4success.com TM

Anon, I would suggest Student Organizational Services (sos4students.com). They do a very good job with our students at Orinda Academy with organization, study skills, time management, test taking etc. They also have a preparation for high school program at the end of the summer. Orinda Academy (www.orindaacademy.org) also provides a high school prep program at summer school and an excellent program in the fall for students who learn differently. Ron

I can highly recommend Ashley Coburn, Ph.D. She's in Berkeley and Walnut Creek. You can reach her at 510-384-6069. Our daughter is similar in age and learning profile and she did really great work with Dr. Coburn this last year. Best wishes.

Try Leslie Absher at lmabsher [at] earthlink.net - she works exclusively with teens around organization, etc. Lisa

Tutor for study skills with background in dyslexia & ADHD

Feb 2010

Looking for a recommendation for a tutor or ed therapist in the lamorinda area. My daughter has dyslexia and ADHD. We are wanting a tutor for study skills and help with her history class. Thank you for your help! Ann

I highly recommend Susan Wood, an educational therapist in Lafayette. My middle school son has adhd and dyslexia and she has worked wonders with him. Lots of experience and understanding of kids like this. Her # is (925) 283-2565. grateful mom

Ashley Coburn, PhD is a Learning Specialist and Academic Coach who is working with our high school daughter. Our daughter loves Dr Coburn, and her experience in school and with her work has really changed for the better since she started working with her last fall. Dr Coburn is in Walnut Creek & Berkeley. 510-384-6069. Best wishes. John & Gail

Organizational skills for high school freshman

Feb 2010

Hi there: My daughter is at Oakland Tech and is doing very well as a freshman. We are pre-Paidea and gearing up for a bunch more work next year. I want to make sure she has the very best organizational skills as well as someone to fall back on for help when she needs it. Can anyone make a recommendation for us? Thanks. concerned mom

We just recommended Ashley Coburn PhD to another parent last week. Dr. Coburn is doing great work with our high school daughter on organization, study skills, project management, and also working on writing and math, which she struggles with. My wife and I highly recommend her. Her # is (510) 384-6069. Best wishes. John and Gail

I highly recommend Phyllis Koppelman at Strategies for Learning (www.strategiesforlearning.com). Her office is on Grand Ave. in Oakland. She is kind, smart and incredibly experienced. She will see things in your child that you didn't think anyone else could see. She'll also see things you didn't. She creates a strong relationship with the kids & teens she works with. Getting teens organized is one of her strengths. Phone: 510-835-0466 Feel free to tell her I was singing her praises. Dawn

I would recommend Linda Lawton in Albany, 559-3110 easy4you [at] sbcglobal.net. She helped our 8th grader get organized. been there

Homework help for two high school students

Sept 2009

My son and his close friend, both sophomores at Albany High, are in need of some after school help. Both boys are very intelligent but need some help with managing their work loads. We are looking for someone who has good organizational skills who could help them (with the help of the school's online homework tracking system) organize and stay on top of their assignments. I am looking for someone who could work with the boys a couple of days a week in either our house in Richmond Annex or the other family's house in Albany. I think the kids would work best with a male college or grad student, someone they can relate to. We need someone who can help with Chemistry, Geometry and Algebra. Please contact me if this describes you or if you know someone. Leigh

Our tutor's name is Emmanuel Hale - he is a UCB graduate. He's been tutoring my daughter for awhile now. He comes to our home. My daughter is only 9, but I'm sure that Emmanuel would be great with High School age kids also. His e-mail is eman.hale [at] gmail.com Janet

Tutor needed for 15-year-old's study habits

June 2009

My 15 yr old boy has had trouble with school since the 6th grade when the work load went beyond what he could naturally take in and began to require studying. Currently, he is finishing his freshman year in Biology with a D, yet his teacher has asked that my son be in his Chemistry AP class next year because he is the best student in the class!! In Geometry he is going to get either a C or a D, yet his teacher said she would write a letter recommending him for the math honors class. The boy is very bright, but when he sits down to study, he really does not know how to tackle the studying. And I am at a loss as to how to teach him how to study! Do you know of a teacher or tutor in the Walnut Creek/Pleasasnt Hill area who can teach studying? Not just the habits of a good student, but how to study. perplexed parent of 15yr

Your son sounds like mine. When the work is ''easy'' he doesn't do so well; the more challenging, the better he does. It has something to do with the way his brain works. He also had trouble when the need to study came along. With math he could immediately know the answer but not know how he knew. We got a handle on this when he was tested at Strategies for Learning. They are in Oakland so maybe you don't want to go there for tutoring. But you might start by talking to them about your options. The number is 510-835-0466. My child was coached in study skills there. Mom of a 2009 Grad!

Tutor Leslie Absher does this work with teens. You can visit her website or email her to learn more. teenfocus.net/ lmabsher [at] earthlink.net Lisa

Organizational tutor for 13 year old boy

Jan 2009

My son is 13 and very bright. Unfortuntely, his organizational skills are not good. This may be coupled with a motivation problem as well. It is not a learning disability, or cognitive deficit in any way. He has problems with time managment, getting papers in on time, turning in homework on time, etc. The high school he will be attending recommended we seek a tutor to help him get organized and work with this person 1-2 times a week. Anyone have any good recommendations? We live in Crocker Highlands just off Lakeshore.

Sorry I didn't see your original post. My daughter is seeing Nancy Chin at Step By Step. Initially it was a little rough (my daughter has ADHD and set in her ways) but once she experienced success, her confidence soared and she was less anxious. In addition to organization, Nancy is working with her on scheduling (which includes homework), study skills, and follow through. Nancy communicates with my daughter regularly throughout the week, and with her teachers and myself as well. Although this whole process has longer than expected, my daughter is making progress, her grades have improved, and there is less stress on all of us. Good luck in finding help for your son. Nancy's info is www.stepbystep4success.com Tim

Try www.sos4students and see if Student Organizational Services has what you need. Beth Samuelson, who runs it, has lots of experience in dealing with exactly what you are describing. They have workshops and individual tutoring. You can call them and see what they think would be best for your son. Good luck! Debbie

We found a wonderful organizational tutor who helped our high school daughter. Karen Baughmann (baughmankaren [at] gmail.com) had lots of practical advice and tips which helped our daughter get a handle on her school workload, and also on some of her individual assignments, such as essays/papers. She has an office in downtown Berkeley, so don't know if that's doable for you, but I strongly recommend her. Karen

Hiya. My son is 14, attention issued, and very much disorganized. He works with a great tutor, Parissa E, who runs Top Rank Tutoring. She can be reached at 562.397.7794. Parissa not only helps him with organization, but she edits his docs with him, helps with his Spanish, math...she covers it all. She's very supportive, but also big on self-responsibility. I recommend her highly, and I'm sure my son would, too. LL

2007 - 2008 Reviews

Homework help for son with ADHD

Nov 2007

We are looking for recommendations for someone to help our 13 year old son, who has ADHD, handle his homework better. His grades are always lowered due to missing or incomplete assigments. We've worked with him at home for years with no improvment -- the minute we back off he does much worse -- he doesn't seem to find any system that really works for him. We live in Walnut Creek and would prefer someone relatively close, but would travel further if necessary. Thanks!

My son who has ADHD worked with a local tutor and it seemed helpful. The guy is very nice and reasonably priced. His name is Jon Rothstein and his phone number is 497-5111. I also recommend the Neuro-psychologist, Tina Gutterman, who does testing to see if there are any other learning issues/psych issues besides ADHD. Her number is (415) 440-4713. She is in Moraga. feel free to email me personally julie

Nancy Chin with Step by Step is an amazing academic coach and can really help- she gives the kids a system to help organize their academic life. I have seen her work miracles. www.stepbystep4success.com nancy@stepbystep4success 510 384-1909 rachel

Homework Coach for 5th grader w ADD

Nov 2007

I am the parent of a 5th grader who attends a private school in El Cerrito. He is very smart but struggles with ADD. Ritalin is helping with attention tremendously, but he still needs help with organization, getting homework done, pacing himself, etc. As a professional psychologist, I've tried various approaches but I am still ''mom'' and annoying to him! He used to work with a male reading coach thru Reading Revolution 2 yrs ago, but he moved back East. My son really liked him, felt challenged by him & not in any way infantalized. He was also ''cool'' - which mom isn't. Any suggestions? uncool Kensington mom

The University of Learning in Walnut Creek provides homework assistance. Private tutoring, or small group classes available. www.LearnAtTheU.com Mariessa

Someone to help 7th grader get homework done

Sept 2007

I have a daughter in 7th grade at Albany Middle School who is struggling with getting her daily homework assignments done. I am looking for someone (maybe an Albany H.S. student) who could meet with her for an hour or so a day for two or three days a week to provide encouragement, keep her focussed, and make sure she understands what she is doing. It isn't exactly tutoring (and I can't afford tutoring rates) more like a coach/friend. I can pay $15/hour, and am hoping to find someone soon! Thanks

Classroom Matters offers a great program for a terrific price: Unlimited Supervised Study. Mon-Thurs. from 4-8 PM (and weekends during finals), students may come at any time, any day for as often as they like, for a flat rate of $75 per week. A Supervisor is available to meet with each family to decide what would best work for each student, and develop a study plan if needed. Then, students come and check in with our Supervised Study Point Person, who will be there to answer questions and keep students focused. The atmosphere of the center is conducive to communal studying (louder than a library, but not nearly as loud as a cafe). CM also has wholesome snacks, water and a strong belief that food fuels the mind. To find out more about our Unlimited Supervised Study Program, please visit our website: http://www.classroommatters.com/program/study.htm Call 510-540-8646 to sign up! Molly Gales Classroom Matters Co-Director

Summer help for disorganized teen

June 2007

My 13 year old boy is very bright but his grades have steadily been slipping because he cannot (will not?) stay on top of his homework. I am at my wit's end because no amount of micromanaging nor ''hands off'' allowing him to experience consequences has made a difference. I read with interest the discussion of unmotivated teens in this newsletter earlier in the month (I feel better knowing I'm not alone in this struggle!) And i have sent off for books on this. I feel as if I won't survive another year of this cycle of working to get him on track, him telling me he's on track, me getting calls from the teacher, him crying and saying he's sorry he'll do better, repeat until mom is crazy and he feels like crap. I'm not doing him any good at this point. My question: does anyone know of summer programs that are focused not just on academics (his grades are still passable) but in learning to be organized? HELP! Anon

Here are some terrific resources for a disorganized teen (I have one, too -- sigh): 1. Beth Samuelson, Student Organizational Services, 510- 531-4767. I think her site is sos4students.com. Highly recommended by teachers in our area. Does workshops kids enjoy, especially in the summer, and offers individual tutoring in organizational skills. 2. Organizing from the Inside Out for Teens -- a book by Julie Morgenstern and Jessi Morganstern-Colon. Lots of practical information such as a ''no-brainer toss list'' for papers to discard. Nancy

You might want to look into SOS (Student Organizational Services). They have workshops (in Orinda and Berkeley) and individual coaching to help students navigate the increased workload and expectations of middle school and high school. I have heard their director, Beth Samuelson, speak a couple of times and think she is very good. Their website is www.sos4students.com. Julie

2005 - 2006 Reviews

Oct 22 2006

Fortunately ,I heard about Classroom Matters through another family when our daughter entered her Sophomore year at BHS. She was struggling to organize her time and prioritize subjects in advance of testing. I arranged to have her meet once a week for English and Spanish help and a review of what was due, when and how much more needed to happen. She incorporated the tutoring and study skills into her routine with impressive results and I was incredibly relieved to have her look forward to sharing her concerns regularly with her tutor and getting the help she needed. In her junior year she needed additional tutoring for Math Analysis and the SAT 2s. It is great to have such a resource as Classroom Matters available.

August 2006

Hello all I need homework help for my middle schooler entering 7th grade. She went to Raskob Learning Center in the evening last school year which was pretty good, but pricey. She has ADD and she articulated to me that she needs help with the day to day school work. She has been tested and re-tested and does not qualify for anything from the school district that really seems to help. I have checked current recommendations on file and they did not pan out. Any suggestions or positive experiences with a particular tutor would be much appreciated Thanks in advance anon mom

Try ABS Homeschool and Tutorial Center. They do allow some clients to pay on a sliding scale. call Kena or Bilal @ 510-430-1701

I know just the person for you. Her availability is limited, but she is worth trying. Her name is Angela Parker and she used to be the director of Lindamood-Bell Learning Processes in Berkeley. She is currently getting her PhD in education (of course!) and still works with a few students privately. Angela is great with kids, especially the ones who have a hard time sitting still. She provides a holistic approach to teaching, focusing on their emotional and academic needs. Helping children with learning challenges is her passion, and the kids know it. She keeps them focused and positive, and they do their best with her because they feel challenged and supported. Give her a call at 510 530-9571
another parent

Nov 27 2005

Kevin Arnold has been tutoring our 13-year old 8th grade son for the past several months and we are pleased with the results. They meet once a week for an hour and a half and spend time reviewing homework as well as working on writing and organization skills. Kevin, who is on the quiet side and low-key seems to connect well with our son, who finds the tutoring sessions helpful (and I'm surmising that he even enjoys them since he's never once complained). Kevin has been accomodating when we've had to change our regularly scheduled meeting time due to conflicts with sports activities.

Kevin's can be reached at 510-655-6612 or kevinarnold2004 [at] yahoo.com. Irma

June 22, 2005

Our 16 year old son, who has consistently had problems organizing and turning in his homework, has been seeing Kevin Arnold for homework tutoring for the past few months. Sam likes him and they've worked well together. Kevin is a gentle and compassionate guy, and although his approach to the work at hand seemed at times a bit dreamy, we did see results--more work turned in on time, and better grades as a result. Sam was always happy to go to the tutor, too! They met at the Royal Ground cafe on College. Reach Kevin at 510.655.6612 or kevinarnold2004 at yahoo.com Suzanne

Mar 10 2005

Classroom Matters is an incredible place for tutoring. My son has been going there for the last three months to improve his organizationa skills. He now gets his homework done on time, and is able to focus much more. they offer tutoring for academics, as well as organizational and study skills. the tutors are all very skilled and are able to really motivate the kids. Simma

Jan 10 2005

I want to highly recommend Kristan Willits, as a tutor and personal problem-solver. She has provided invaluable support and insight when I have been struggling with massive and challenging papers (I study at UCB in the social sciences/ geography). She is very intuitive, and seems to always know exactly what is getting in the way of proceeding. She understands the learning process as it involves the whole person, emotionally, psychologically, intellectually. She has been a great support for me. Contact her by emailing kwillits AT earthlink.com or the website: www.kwlearning.com. Diana

2004 & Earlier

Dec 2001

My 7th grade daughter complains of being totally stressed out over her homework, and feels very over-programmed. Its a mystery to me since her homework, for the most part, is extremely easy for her. It does seem to take an inordinate amount of time, given how easy it is. So, it becomes very time consuming but with little other merit. She is a perfectionist and enjoys getting high grades. She does have after-school activities two afternoons a week. I am thinking that she would benefit (our household would in fact) by developing more efficiency in this area, but haven't a clue how to instruct her. Does anyone have experience with those tutoring centers (SCORE, etc...). Do they do this? Or are there good tutors that specialize in this area, perhaps more like homework coaches?

Re: the 7th grade daughter that needs some homework and study habit guidance....I don't think Score is what you want. There is a place on 9th at Dwight called Classroom Matters that does tutoring and supervised study for children that are in the 6th through 12th grade. We have used them for tutoring only, but you may want to check out the study part. Good luck.

Dec 2000
We asked Lynn Bernhardt, who also tutors English and writing skills, to coach our student in organizational and time management skills, with considerable success. She can be contacted at lbbernhardt AT hotmail.com. Joyce